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Music, family, Linux, pod casting and general geekdom.

Updated: 2018-03-06T05:25:44.151-08:00


Stay In Bed For Christmas


So I've recorded a little Christmas tune for those who are over the hype. I hope you like it. Check it out, share it, buy it, I'd really appreciate it.

   seamless="" src="" style="border: 0; height: 442px; width: 350px;">Stay In Bed For Christmas by Daniel Worth

Do Something!


I'm a very opinionated person and I don't think that there is much I can do about that. Most of the time I try to not force my personal opinions on people, some of my friends and family might disagree, but I do honestly try. I like to think most people arrive at their opinions honestly and they represent a perspective, however different than mine, that is informed by things I might not be able to understand. I do know that my opinions on things have changed or maybe even evolved with time and I'd like to think we are all on a path headed towards our dreams. Maybe at different points on the path but still on a path. If I can help someone down the path with me, I try to do it. What I won't do is push someone to make ground on something by force. In my own head I don't think I have a single personal philosophy that guides my life. Most of the time I feel like I'm drowning in my own self doubt. However, I do get put into the position of offering advice on peoples lives more than I'm comfortable with. Most of the time I just try my best to nudge people in a positive direction.Lately however, I've been giving more and more thought to what I would call my personal brand of guiding wisdom. Now I obviously don't have the answer to eternal happiness, world peace or even how to not annoy the crap out of everyone by accident. The reality is, I'm pretty useless at making other peoples lives better most of the time, despite my grand ideas for changing the world.What I do know is that when I'm at my most depressed or discouraged that I can always dig myself out. Even if it feels at the time like I never will. I don't have a magic silver bullet but I do know that every day I can chose to do at least one thing that makes my life or the life of those around me better and I think that mostly sums up my approach. As I've thought about it, I've boiled it down to something fairly concise."Do Something"What I mean by that is you might not be able to control everything that happens to you and you also might not be able to control the way you feel about it. What you can do is move yourself down the path. Sometimes it's a moon surface leap and sometimes it's crawling through glass, but progress is progress. No, this won't guarantee your bills will get paid, you will save your marriage or heal a childhood pain. It might not even make you feel better. What it will do is put you a little closer, bit by bit.If you are like me, most things feel overwhelming. I can be pretty hard on myself. I once told someone, "You can't say anything to me more hurtful than what I've said to myself." I think it might be one of the most honest things I've ever said. What I have found though that helps me more than anything, is doing something. Anything. As long as it's a positive step in the right direction. Even if it's just one small step with a million more to go, it's one step closer to my final destination.No matter how small the gesture it can at least help you get into a better head space. It could be something for yourself, like getting chores you've been avoiding knocked out or something huge like finally telling someone how you care about them. You don't even have to do it for yourself. Sometimes when I'm at my lowest it helps to think about the things I wish others where doing for me at that moment and do it for someone else. One example is, for my own narcissistic reasons, I really like things I post to social media to get liked by my friends and family. Sometimes a post that I feel really strongly about or connected to will get almost completely ignored and it will send me into a tailspin of self doubt. In all likely hood there are multitudes of reasons people didn't take the time to click "like", and most are probably not related to me or my personal feelings. So, even in this silliest of first world problem situations, I try to reach out to others, click like on things my friends post or leave a positive comment. I would never do this disingenuously. I'm always clicking[...]

Requiem for a Hero: Part II


A politician is a fickle thing, it changes allegiances as quickly as a wind blown $5 bill changes hands. Ownership means nothing to it. The crime bosses liked the systems of prohibition on certain common street drugs, it allowed their prices and profits to reach almost limitless heights. It fed the machinery that really ruled the world. The machinery, however, still has not found a solution to the problem it finds most troublesome. In spite of all it's efforts it still relies on the fickle voter to vote against their own best interest as they have done since they where given the gift of voting. Thankfully most the time the voter seems to have a deep-seated need to self sabotage, and only in very rare circumstances will they vote against the machinery that really runs the world. So it was a very rare case with the legalization of a certain common street drug. Enough voters had grown tired of the oppression and crime the drug's prohibition brought on the world and voted for the legalization. In response to the change in voter sentiment , and because a politician can change their allegiances in response to anything, the politicians all had very important meetings and collectively came to the conclusion it would be in everyone's best interest, mostly their own, to not fight the law. The result was a lot of temporarily unhappy criminals and a lot of tax revenue. The wind of popular opinion had blown the politicians into their own dark alley and on top of their own trash pile and they always did their best work in these types of situations.The tax revenue from the now legal common street drug was, as decided by the voters, allotted to be used for the city's underfunded schools. This, of course, did not happen. The machinery that really ran the world hated schools. Schools teach people to vote in their own best interest. This is something that the machinery would never let happen. So the politicians found clever ways to divert the money to the recently upset criminals as a way to make up for having not prevented the voters from voting in their own best interest and so everyone, who mattered to the machinery, was happy.Who wasn't happy where the future voters and current children at the local underfunded school. One of whom was the daughter of a recently deceased local hero that had been killed, unbeknownst to her, by a local crime boss. The daughter didn't even know her father was a hero. To her he was just another parent, preoccupied with the machinery that really ran the world and not very interested in the day to day dealings of his family's operation.The daughter of the recently deceased local hero did well in her underfunded school. She always tried her hardest in everything she did. She was a good student, athlete, friend and daughter. She ate healthy, and in contrast to the other future voters and current children at the local underfunded school, she didn't drink sugary soda made from the chemically processed byproducts of inedible corn. She in every way lived up to the impeccable moral code of her recently deceased local hero father. She worried about the environment, and because of this she didn't  use disposable water bottles. She had written a report for a class at her underfunded school that the plastic from the disposable water bottles would pollute the local waterways of the city and that as an alternative everyone, like her, should carry a reusable water bottle with them. She took her ecologically friendly water bottle with her every where and filled it during the short period of time between classes at the water fountains in her underfunded school.Unfortunately for the daughter of the recently deceased local hero, and the city, it was too late for the local waterways. They had all ready been polluted by the toxic and unfortunate side effect of a local business. The CEO of the company responsible for the dumping of the toxic and unfortunate side effect had recently been arrested and convicted of vi[...]

My first short story as an adult: An ode to Kurt Vonnegut


Requiem for a Hero Part I:The satisfaction the hero felt in carrying out his personal brand of justice was scientifically comparable to the chemical reaction in the brain of an Olympic competitor winning a gold metal in their respective sport. He could, in many scientific circles, be described as an adrenaline junky. He was constantly chasing the natural rush of brain chemicals that came from delivering a quick and satisfying conclusion to the injustices of the world, no matter how minor.He took great pride in himself and his impeccable morality. He did the right thing even if most people would think the ingression he was correcting was silly at best. One time he used his powers of deduction and reason to locate the owner of a $5 bill that he found windblown against a trash pile in an alley he happen to be in while surveilling an opportunity at getting those brain chemicals he so desperately needed. He had dreamed up a story while he searched for the owner of the cash. In his brain's narrative the person who lost the money was a little old lady on a fixed income who had out lived the rest of her family and the return of the cash would mean the difference between eating enough calories for her frail body to make another week and going hungry, risking escape into the dark abyss of non-existence. The hero imagined the old lady had been given the bill as change while filling a prescription at the local drug store and being too week to place it back into her billfold had opted to try and hold it feebly while still operating her walker and making her way slowly to the bus stop. He could see it clearly in his heroic minds eye that a burst of wind had torn the bill out of the old lady's age weakened hand and it landed neatly on the trash pile in the alley where he had found it. The reality, as the hero soon found out, was that the owner of the bill was a stock broker who had given the bill to a homeless man holding a cardboard sign with a long and sad story about the various hardships that had befallen him written in black permanent marker. The stock broker hadn't read the sign, he'd simply dropped the bill on the top of the slouching man who had passed out from too much of his drug of choice, a common street drug sold to him by the low level employees of a local crime boss. The stock broker had given the money to the homeless man as a way of feeling slightly better about the large income he drew out of manipulating the worlds economy. He felt instantly better about himself and his place in the world and decided to treat himself to a beer and maybe a ham sandwich at a local pub as a reward for being so selfless. The stock broker had in fact played a small roll in the hardships listed on the homeless man's sign.The homeless man had a minor mental disorder that was easily treated with prescription medication, but owing to a downsizing at his previous employer, he had been laid off, lost his health benefits and could not afford the medication his malfunctioning brain required. This event sent him into a spiral of self medicating with an addiction to a common street drug that worsened his brain's condition beyond the reach of modern medicine and led to his eventual homelessness. The cheap street drug released, temporarily, some chemicals in the homeless man's brain that made him forget that other brain chemicals where out of balance.The broker knew none of this because, as mentioned, he didn't read the sign the homeless man had propped against his unconscious body.The downsizing at the homeless man's company had been triggered when the stock broker, seizing an opportunity at a large payday, had sold a very large portion of stock in the company based on a rumor he had heard from a colleague while peeing in an trough urinal at a baseball game. The colleague had told him that the companies earnings would be below market expectations. The large sell off of stock by the broker caused the machinery that actually operated the markets to view this trade as a[...]

It's got a big mouth, just like me.


I am at least self aware enough to understand that a water bottle is a pretty strange thing to write a blog post about, but I'm nothing if not a man with strong feelings, sometimes about inane things like water bottles.

For years I was in love with Nalgene brand wide mouth, and even narrow mouth water bottles but then the BPA débâcle happened and I gave them up. I switched, much to my dismay, to stainless steel but I missed my Nalgene bottles more than is healthy for an adult male.

When they came out with the BPA free versions I switched back and I have to say, it's one of my favourite accessories. For those of you that know me, you also know that I'm very rarely without my Nalgene in tow.

So why do I love my Nalgene so much?

 First, they are cheap and available pretty much anywhere for under $10 and it comes in many different colors. I very rarely lose my water bottle, but when I do I can replace it with a visit to just about any store anywhere.

It's virtually indestructible. I've dropped them thousands of times and they hold up to my years of abuse.

The wide mouth means I can load it up with ice easily and I like a lot of ice in my water.

Accessories, there are a surprising amount of accessories available for them, my two favourites are the GSI Outdoors H2OH! Percolator and the Outdoor Research Bottle Parka.

It's made of Lexan and that means it can handle temperatures up to the boiling point of water. I first heard about this on the website where people where talking about using them as hot water bottles on chilly nights to squeeze a few more degrees of comfort out of their sleeping systems, since then I've used them quite regularly as a hot water bottle to help sooth my chronic shoulder pain. I even sewed my own cover filled with rice to insulate myself from the high temps and make the heat last longer. It's really amazing at putting the right amount of heat right where I need it. I also have a crazy story, that I won't share right, now about saving a couple friends life on the side of a mountain by making hot water bottles in cold temps.

I really do view my Nalgene bottle as one of the few things I really can't do without.(image) and New Blog


Just realizing that there are some of you that follow this blog that don't necessarily follow me in other places. So I thought I'd post a quick update to say, any farm related stuff has been moved off this blog and onto and if you want to check out the new website I'd love to hear some feedback on it.(image)

Jury Duty


Here is an account of my recent trip to the county court house to fulfill my civic duty right up until I was selected and served on a jury. Enjoy! First observation, great place to people watch. Only one of the the security lines running, very long line, I doubt other two x-ray machines are even plugged in, they are just there to torment me with the possibility. While in line I discover wood chips in my hoody pocket, hope I don't have to explain that in a pat down.Only place on earth there are people grumpier than me. Lady on phone behind me would rather clean a dirty toilet than be here or so she says loudly to the person on the other end of the conversation. I'd rather not do either or here about it from her. They miss pronounced my last name over intercom. It's a common English word, go judicial/educational system. We are all Given a name tag that just says "Juror", everyone obediently wearing them like sheep, I judge them. I'm just wearing mine to be ironic so it looks cool on me. I still don't really know what ironic means. That song really fucked me up. The sign on fancy automatic coffee maker, just above dispensing nozzle says, not a drain. Must be an interesting story there. Size options on machine are as follows, coffee bean, cup, coffee bean, I chose cup, but secretly wished I tried coffee bean. Later, tried coffee bean option, said "invalid option" on LCD screen, at least the machine is aware of the paradox even if it's incapable of changing it. Chairs designed to not let a cup sit flat, no where to set cup, another well thought out form of torture.Selected in the first round to move on, I finally found what I'm lucky at. Yay.Questionnaire asked my favorite t.v. show, author and type of music. I think the people who wrote the form got tired of where people work. They are people watchers too. I think I miss spelled Vonnegut, attempt to seem smart backfired on me again, go educational system.More newspapers than tablets, more hardback books than tablets. Like they are all from a different universe. Old people still not using smart phones when bored, I don't know how to solve this problem but I imagine it involves hard candy in some way. Saw guy that looks like Kurt Vonnegut, not the best celebrity to look like. I didn't tell him he looked like him, I'm sure he gets told that a lot. They let us have a fifteen minute break, only options are smoking and eating junk food at a bad cafeteria, go society. I chose writing this on my tablet and looking smug. Got called to a court room in first round, go universe that is constantly against me.Took stairs to fourth floor court room instead of elevator to feel superior to everyone else, instead I'm just breathing heavily like a creeper. More cardio could be in order. Everyone is sitting on one side of benches, when I ask "Is the other side is off limits?" everyone smiles politely and shrugs, they are sheep, I sit on the other side and everyone after me follows my lead, I'm a trailblazer. Felony vehicular eluding, sounds fun.Just found out, Jehovah's witness don't serve on jury's, a tiny upside to religion. I can't seem to win at anything in life ever, except getting selected to be a juror. I don't know what message the universe is trying to send me but I suspect it's just drunk dialing [...]

For The Love Of Dogs


I'm a dog lover.When I say that, I don't mean that I have some teen girl relationship with dogs where I feel the need to collect them like porcelain dolls. I don't have a sweater with my dogs likeness lovingly stitched into it. I don't have a coffee cup with a witty quip about dogs. I don't even own anything that would indicate I have a dog other than the necessities of dog ownership, e.g., bowl, leash, brush, dog food storage bin.What I mean by saying I'm a dog lover is that I think there is something in the relationship with a dog that can bring on a symbiosis of spirit. There is a raw connection with the animal that goes beyond words. We have co-evolved to have, use and love dogs as part of our family. When our rudimentary ancestors needed to survive cold winters and hunt game beyond the limits of their tools they turned to their dogs and vise verse the dogs looked to us for their provision. Even today looking into our primate relatives this connection lives on. This video shows baboons capturing feral dog puppies and raising them as part of their family to protect their group in African trash heaps. They lovingly groom them as part of their bond as one of the family.I've had dogs my entire life. I love nothing more than taking my relationship with my dogs to a level where neither of us is ever in doubt as to what is needed from each other. We both enjoy doing things together and we feel no stress over being apart. It's not just me wanting to be confident in my dog I want him to be confident in with me. If you knew the dog I have now then you would know how enjoyable a perfectly behaved and loving dog can be. He is envied by just about everyone. Not just because of his calm demeanor or the fact that he almost never shows signs of stress or distrust, but also because he is big, fluffy and loveable. He treats everyone with the same affection as he shows me.Can I take credit for all that my dog is? of course not! We are a partnership, I have a responsibility to be a good companion in equal measure to his. Dogs should not be chosen based on how cute you think they are alone. They should not be bred to have a certain look to them. Breeds that are nothing more than an intriguing experiment into humans abilities to push genetics to their limit, in my opinion, represent a complete failure in the humans role regarding the relationship with dogs.  I have a particular lifestyle and my dog should reflects that. Breeds should be chosen based on their ability to fit in and adapt to the lifestyle of my family not because I think they are the cutest. I recently watched a TED talk and what struck me first is that most of the dogs that have this "Separation Anxiety" are from breeds originally developed to be livestock guardian dogs. It is in their soul to protect their flock and in the absence of livestock you become their surrogate. You leaving for work means they have failed in being able to protect you and they are driven to compulsion by their genetics. I feel it's unfair to have these breeds outside of their breeding.We once owned a very neurotic Weimaraner who I never really related to and wasn't able to train. In retrospect I can see that there was no real failing on his part, I can firmly put any failings in our relationship on myself. He was bred to be a hunting dog, specifically water foul and I, not being a hunter, didn't relate to his compulsion. When we took him to ponds I would at first laugh, then get annoyed and then get angry that all he wanted to do was swim and chase ducks and geese. At the time I don't think I understood the connection there since I wasn't very familiar with the breed. In retrospect I should have altered my life to include his instincts instead of avoiding ponds so I didn't have to deal with him not wanting to get out when I was ready. In his mind this might be his only chance at being truly happy and he w[...]

How I'm So Damned Productive


This could prove to be an epic blog post so if it's a TLDR I understand, but if you've ever wondered what tools other people use to keep organized then this is the post for you!This post is about all the tools I use to crush tons of data and keep productive without losing my mind.Tool #1 - Google Calendar:Everyone needs a calendar and I've been using Google's offering since it's beta. There are a number of reasons I've stuck with it over the years.Shared calendar's: I share my calendar with my wife and daughter, and they share theirs with me. Since we all use Android phones it makes it much easier to keep everyone in sync with such busy schedules."Interesting Calendars": There are curated calendars that can be added allowing me to automatically keep up with holidays and sports teams. I love this feature and I never miss a Bronco game as a result.Inviting People to Events: I've used this for years to organize podcast schedules to make sure everyone is there to podcast at the right time.Integration with Other Google Services: I love "Google Now" and if it's in my Google Calendar it's in Google Now giving me reminders and if I've included and address it let's me pull up one handed navigation. Also, when adding addresses it integrates with Google Maps make setting appointments up to specific places much easier. The other handy integration is with contacts, if the contact has a birthday entry it shows up on the calendar.Like any other cloud service, being able to edit my calendar on any device I have in my hot little hands means I actually use it and keep it up to date.Tips for getting the most out of a calendar: Calendars aren't just for future events. Put important events on the calendar after they've happened so you can find it later with a simple search.Put reminders to do maintenance type items so you get a simple reminder to winterize the lawn mower, clean out the gutters, change the oil in your car, etc. This saves a lot of headache and is a simple way to make sure you do your less regular chores.Want to eat out less? Make a weekly meals calendar so you can keep track of what meals you planned for what day and you have a record of previous meals you've eaten to keep everyone from getting bored. With multiple people cooking in the house with crazy schedules this helps make sure everyone is eating healthy inexpensive meals instead of fast food on busy nights.Tool #2 - Google Keep:This is the most recent addition to my organizational repertoire and I've been making full use of it. It's basically Google's answer to Evernote, something I've never personally used. If some of these other tools are howitzers this tool is more of a scalpel. I use it as a staging area for things that need to be filed into other tools. It's main usefulness is for quick notes, check lists and lists like virtual sticky notes. Also, since it's a Google product it's synced with all my devices all the time helping make better use of my other organizational tools. I mostly use it like you would a note pad to jot quick notes down. Don't overuse it for detailed info or it gets overwhelming quick.Tips of getting the most out of Keep:Great for meeting notes to jot down things you need to follow up on. You can set reminders on the desktop that will pop up on your phone or tablet.It's great for check lists.Archive done items so you can search them later but they don't show up in the main view.You can attach pictures to things to help remind you of what it is you need.Tool #3 - and Greader:I do tons of research from a large variety of web sources and keeping track of everything requires a powerful tool.....RSS. I was in the private beta on Google Reader and was heart broken when it closed down. offered importing of the OML file from Google Reader and it strived to emulate the original Google Reader i[...]

Spoons! A Love Affair with Wood.


I've loved wood since I was a child. I got my first pocket knife when I was 7 and for the following years I spent a lot of time carving wood. There is a zen in it for me. It's an interesting combination of the freedom of thought and intense focus that draws me in. I love the smell of wood, I love the texture of wood, I love the feel of wood in my hands.Spoon at theend of the classSince I was very young I've loved watching "The Woodright's Shop" with Roy Underhill on PBS. It's the longest running PBS show and is all about traditional woodworking, the kind of thing that is 100% devoid of electrically powered tools. There is a romanticism in traditional woodworking. You can see in the traditional tools the evolution of man's relationship with it's environment. The burst of activity in the Industrial Revolution changed the landscape of our relationship with the forests. In many ways we turned our back on them. We tore forests down to make room for other enterprises and insulated ourselves from that connection with our ecosystem even further.Finished Spoon from the classLike many things in life, the struggle of a young family and developing a paying career led me to put aside my love affair with wood and focus on keeping a roof over my head and food on my table. Now, however, good fortune has allowed me to dip my toe back into the waters.My Second SpoonThere is a very talented woodworker and teacher who has been featured on a number of episodes of the "The Woodright's Shop" named Peter Follansbee who did an episode on traditional Swedish spoon carving and I was very intrigued by them. I started following Mr. Follansbee's blog and keeping an eye on his spoon work. It seemed a cheap and easy way to get back into woodworking without too much expense. I didn't take the plunge till I saw a meetup posted on the Greater Denver Urban Homesteaders page about a spoon carving class taught by Drover through the Sarquit Outdoor Living School. The class was fun and gave me the bug to give it a try. Drover was a great guy to learn from and very enthusiastic in his work. When I got home, I decided to order a hook knife for carving the bowl of the spoon and finished the knife. The bug for carving is strong for me so I ordered two more knives a short bladed and a long bladed strait knife. I also grabbed a cheap hatchet for doing rough out and splitting chores.The Third SpoonI needed wood for more spoons and when driving by a nearby location I saw what I though was an apple tree, saw a brush pile of wind fallen branches and hiked up with my middle daughter holding a hand saw to see if I could get some good carving wood. Turns out it was a pear tree and we had fun picking some fruit and collecting some branches.The first spoon that came out of the wood ended up a little more utilitarian looking than I'd hoped but I really enjoyed how easy green pear is to work with. I timed my first 3 spoons to see how long it took to completer using an android app, like a true geek and found it takes around 4 hours to produce one.Baby Spoon Traded for More WoodMy next spoon still didn't turn out to be what I wanted but it was better than the first. With this spoon I really started figuring out more of the techniques and rebuilding the muscle memory for carving. By the third spoon I'd gotten most of the technique down and was really starting to enjoy the art of it all.The "Haul" and My Handsome NephewAfter finishing the third spoon I had a mishap with the hatchet splitting out the blank for the fourth and did some pretty decent damage to my left hand, in fact I couldn't close my thumb across my hand for almost 2 weeks afterwards. By this time I was pretty much out of wood to work with and needed to source some more. I put out a call on social media but didn't turn up anything. So a quick Google search turn[...]

Sour Dough


I've tried baking sour dough before and it wasn't very successful. Without a doubt it came down to not know how to build a good starter. Recently I started listening to the Stella Culinary School Podcast and following his instructions to make sour dough bread.
All I can say is that:
My first loaf
  1. Sour Dough requires more knowledge than most cooking techniques and can't just be done with a recipe.
  2. Once you understand some of the science it isn't all that hard though.
  3. It is super rewarding to make home made sour dough from local wild yeast.

With an Egg Wash

Small business.


Saw this coffee van at my daughter's cross country meet and loved the black board doors.


The 500 Year Farm Manifesto Part 5


Human created climate change is a reality and we are all ready facing the consequences of it. I'm not going to lay down the arguments for it's voracity. I accept this reality even if dear reader doesn't. I feel we have postponed action to reduce carbon emissions in the hopes that some magic technological bullet would be developed to keep us from having to face the reality of using dead dinosaurs to make our modern lives possible.

The modern food systems uses carbon from oil to operate the machines that plow the ground, plant the seeds, harvest, process and ship it to your super market. More carbon is used in the store and by the consumer to purchase and transport it home. Oil derived chemical fertilizers are sprayed on the crops and machinery uses more to spray chemical pesticides and herbicides on the crops. The list seems almost never ending. All to deliver food of dubious quality.

The local food movement is a good start to helping short cut many of the steps involved. By eating local and in-season people are drastically reducing the amount of carbon required to deliver food to their plate. The goal of the 500 Year Farm is to directly market it's food to local consumers and restaurants and to provide nursery stock of locally adapted species of plants and animals to urban homesteaders. This not only reduces carbon usage but insures a more stable and resilient food economy.

Reduction isn't the solution to all the carbon problems, we've gone too far down the road for that. We now need to put carbon back into the ground in order reverse the effects of modern society on the earth. Using the ground breaking work of Alan Savory and his development of holistic pasture management techniques, 500 Year Farm will put more carbon into the ground, doing it's part in preventing and reversing man made desertification, helping restore the lungs of the planet.

Also, taking advantage of technologies that use resources efficiently, like rocket mass heaters, and low carbon building techniques will be employed to ensure the farms long term resiliency.      




I've had a number of friends that have made home brewed beer, everything from one small batch to try it out, to people who brew all the beer they drink and have for years. It's something that I've wanted to try personally for a really long time. For one, it involves science and cooking, two things I've all ready incorporated into my life in many ways. Another reason it interests me is that it uses agricultural products that are possible to grow in my area to make a value added product and that is always something that can help a small farm stay profitable. Even if I don't brew for sale on the farm, partnering with local breweries to make special brews would even be a good idea and with all things the best producers are those that understand the process and appreciate and strive for a quality end product.Recently a fellow Ingress player helped push me over the edge into trying it out and this post is about my first attempt, and success, at brewing beer.I started out, at the urging of the aforementioned Ingress player, talking to the guys at Beer@home, a local brewing supply store that is a very short walk away from my work. They were very friendly and helpful. I was very impressed by their knowledge and selection. They had a few different options for brewing gear kits and went over each pro and con without showing signs of getting weary of my endless questions. So I picked the package I wanted and, having some overtime dollars, bought it. The only thing not included in the package was the brew kettle as there are different sizes, I wanted one big enough to do an entire 5 gallon batch so I also bought that.The kit came with a copy of the book "How to Brew" by John J Palmer. The book is concise and informative and you don't have to read the entire thing to make your first batch. It has a primer section that has just enough info to get your head around the process. If you want to get super in depth on all the techniques and science of brewing it's in there too as well as trouble shooting and other reference materials.The kit also included a choice of beer kits that include just about everything that is needed to make your first batch. The store had a large selection and after talking with the staff about the types of beer I like to drink I ended up selecting their "Foreman" kit. It's a brown English style brown ale.I picked a Sunday, the day I keep free for my "projects" or whatever else I want to do, to brew my beer. After getting out all the equipment out and reading the recipe I realized there are two other items that were not included in the kit that I needed. The first was a thermometer and they did mention to me that I would need one but I forgot to grab it the day I bought everything. The second was a muslin bag for the steeping grains. I think this is an over-site of their kits to not include it with them. They also never mentioned it would be needed. After all, this was a partial grain kit so I don't know how you would make it without it. So I drove back down to the store, thankfully open on Sundays, and grabbed the missing items.The directions where clear for the kit without being overly wordy or intimidating. To start, I boiled 1 gallon of water, per the instructions, put the grains in the steeping bag and added them to the boiling water that was then turned down to a low simmer. The only issue I had was the bag wanting to stick to the bottom of the pan, an issue likely brought about by the sugars wanting to caramelize. In hind sight I should have added enough water to submerge the grains while still holding off the bottom by suspending the bag off bakers twine.After steeping the grains, I added the full volume of water recommended and brought it up to a nice rollin[...]

The 500 Year Farm Manifesto Part 4


Time to address ethics and how they apply to my philosophy of food production.Ethics can be a strange beast to cover, especially as they apply to food and food production. Some think ethics are subjective, others think they are part of greater belief systems up to and including formalized beliefs in the form of an organized religion. I want, dear reader, to be assured, that my view of food ethics lay much more in scientific understanding than in a higher power. My own personal ethics stem from how I perceive life and the world around me through the lens of scientific reasoning.The most ethical food systems, at least in my opinion, are the ones that originated out of our evolutionary history. We didn't appear on the earth out of no where. We are not, as some believe, aliens to this world, who's lot is to throw natural systems into chaos and destruction. We evolved as a part of an ecosystem. We, at least at some point in our history, where as important to a natural ecosystems survival as the grasslands and savannas we evolved out of. Where we went astray, as I see it, was when we stopped participating in the ecosystem and started dominating it with technology. Now, I'm certainly not saying that we need to go back to living in small villages in the subtropical regions of the world, far from it in fact What I'm saying is that we can use our scientific understanding of ecology and biology to create constructed ecosystems that feed humans in as close to balance with nature as possible.So, if we are to start constructing an ecosystem around humans, we first must identify our role in it. Looking at the conclusions drawn by anthropology and paleontology we see that humans have likely been omnivorous for around 3.5 million years. This means that humans have evolved over that time to eat both plants, mostly succulents and fruits, as well as meat. I have heard some argue that humans began eating meat around the same time we discovered how to create and manage fire for cooking the meat. However, there is no current evidence of this speculation. As far a science is concerned, there is nothing to prove we cooked our meat until around 800,000 years ago. Our eating of meat seems rather to coincide with our use of tools, namely flinted stone knives. To me, this makes our role in our ecosystem as an omnivorous alpha predator and that as far as science is concerned it is part of our evolutionary history, and there for ethical, to eat meat. What I would call the line between ethically eating meat and unethically eating meat is by judging if the animals being preyed upon are living a life cycle that is at least as humane as their natural, wild one would be or, more ideally, better.Now ecosystems rarely have one predator in them, but rather a few that compete for resources and occasionally prey on each other. Where I would put non scientifically based ethics into my constructed ecosystem would be to say that one rule is that, no humans should die or come to harm in any way from it. That is of course unnatural to evolutionary history but one I don't find much objection to from pretty much anyone. One way we can simulate a more balanced ecosystem, however, is by using domesticated predators, the most common of whom we likely convolved in a symbiotic relationship with, e.g. the domesticated dog. I also see a valuable role for the domesticated cat in this ecosystem. The dogs role is to provide protection for this protected ecosystem from outside predator pressure who's role belongs in a totally natural environment and not this constructed one. The cats role is to prey on non-predatory animals who humans would not themselves view as food. Together these predators round out[...]

The 500 Year Farm Manifesto Part 2


In this post I intend to cover the selfish reasons for wanting a farm.
The first and foremost, I want to do something where I can be in complete control of what is going on. I loved that about gardening as a child. I used to take care of most of my parents large suburban yard that included many fruit trees as well as rose gardens and a small vegetable garden. I also did some work with a friend of the family that had goats. I loved the sense of accomplishment and rewarded for hard work.
When I started as a pipefitter I loved he feeling of reward I got from accomplishing something with my two hands and hard work. As my career has progressed I got farther away from that and the sense of accomplishment. As I've grown older I've wanted to do something more for myself, a "be my own boss" sort of thing. I've always though at some point I'd become an entrepreneur and I've looked int o many paths for this. I've always come back to wanting to do the more basic things I love. I love working hard and the feeling of accomplishment just about as much as I like the reward of growing and raising my own food. So, I do view the farm as a selfish act. If we are to dream, why shouldn't we be selfish? After all, happiness is a choice and we can choose to do the things that make us happy.
I wouldn't change anything related to my life up to now, it has giving me loads of useful skill I wouldn't have gotten otherwise and it fed my family. I'm always pushing to learn how to do more and to challenge and refine my world view. I appreciate the people I've met, worked with and learned from very much. I don't think 18 year old me, given all the necessary resources, could have handled all the things required to make a farm successful. I needed to be pushed to learn the things I did in the way I did. What I hope more than anything is that use what I've learned to achieve my ultimate dreams. Namely building 500 Year Farm.

The 500 Year Farm Manifesto Part 3


Now it's time to address the second issue I brought up in the first post. A lack of access to healthy foods.
Now I wouldn't say that I live in a food desert, in fact, in many respects I'm quite lucky. We have access to the cheap stuff, the better stuff and the good stuff, also we do have a local farmers market. What I've found so unsatisfying with the food supply is that I don't know how the food is produced. Sure, you can put an "Organic" sticker on something and I at least know something about the food. I still have questions, I still have concerns and while this sticker might be enough for some people, for me it more than falls short. I don't agree that organic is the bar our food should work towards, at best for me it's more of a "better than nothing" proposition. There is a miss-association of the word sustainable and organic. There is nothing about organic food that makes it sustainable in any way. It is better than corporate chemical agriculture, but let's be honest that isn't saying much. Our local farmers market doesn't have anything that bares the "Organic" monicker and when asked they simply say no and aren't real interested in talking about their farming practices.
Our first world society has lost touch with producers of food. There isn't an actual free market in food and that is because we lack choice. The corporate take over of the food supply chain has been so effective and complete that it effectively created a single way of doing things and left consumers with no other options. There isn't pressure with regards to food production to allow consumers to make reasonable decisions on what they eat. I have one non organic farmers market with one producer selling vegetables. My only other options are the same sources that are everywhere. Yes there are a few CSA programs that can deliver near me, but you have to pick up on their schedule, the prices are fixed no matter what is in season, you don't get any choice, they don't provide food year round and are easily 4 times more expensive than even the most expensive organic brands. Even if those where not these issues, a CSA doesn't mean that I can feel any better about how the food was grown because I don't have enough competing choices to pick the one that best align with my values when it comes to food. Not to mention, so far, I'm only talking about vegetables. I think I'll save protein production for the post about ethically produced food.
The only solution to this for me is, instead of complaining about the lack of choice, create it. I'd rather be a producer than a whiner. I'm really trying to live my ethics and be the change I want to see in the world and while I'm not there yet, I'm working every day towards making it a reality.

The 500 Year Farm Manifesto Part 1


I think when I say to most people that I want to have a farm, their eyes glaze and they think of corn farmers and assume I'm simply out of my mind. If I explain something about holistic pasture management, they assume I really meant I was going to be a cattle rancher, or a pig farmer, or a sheep herder or what ever animal I've used to illustrate a point. If I happen to talk about food forestry, they assume I'm going to run an orchard. The issue is that I've never given a complete vision of what it means to me to have a farm.

I hope to complete a series of blog posts that address this issue for those that are interested, and I will call this 'The 500 Year Farm Manifesto'.

This, the first post in the series, will be about the problems that I see and wish to solve with my farm.

The first problem I have is that, while I do enjoy my career in the piping industry, I don't see it as ultimately fulfilling. I've always dreamed of self sufficiency; I've always loved nature and I've always had a very close relationship with animals. All things that are not completely fulfilled in my current life. I listened to a podcast recently where they introduced me to a person that asked people at the end of their life what their biggest regret was and the top two where 'living the life others wanted me to lead instead of the life I wanted.' and 'realizing that happiness is a choice.'
These have stuck with me and have been a sentiment driving my thoughts as of late. Therefore, I'll call problem #1 'not living my life as I've always wanted to'.

The second problem as I see it is a lack of access to a healthy diet, in my area and generally all over the world. When I originally started trying to eat healthy, I did a ton of research on what eating healthy means. This is a very hard topic to cover and I'm not sure anyone really agrees on it at all. I won't dive into how I came to these conclusions but I will give my conclusion, it is almost impossible to get the level of quality food I would like to eat in the quantity that I can feed my family for a price that I can afford without producing the food myself. Therefore, I'll call problem #2 'lack of access to healthy food.'

The third problem, in my opinion, is how ethicaly produced our available food has been. This of course is probably the most subjective of all the issues I'm listing but I can't discount the emotions that drive this for me. We have gotten so far away from natural ecosystems that modern agriculture and meat production could now only be describes as abusive. Abusive to the planet, abusive to the species we use, abusive to our bodies and abusive to our economy. I will likely expand on this at some point but lets call this one 'lack of ethical food.'

To continue, the fourth problem, in my opinion, is the overuse of dead dinosaurs. That is specifically oil and oil based products. From the chemical fertilizer that is spread on the fields, to the fuel burned to ship and truck our food from all over the world, plus that to get the food, and cook the food, the amount of carbon involved in the modern food system is staggering. We are putting more carbon in the air than we are in our soil and bodies. This is one of the most distructive problems I see. Thus it is 'too much carbon being used.'

In the follwing posts I will be expanding on these concepts.


Where Do We Stand?


I hate it when I hear of an interesting project and then never get any updates. It makes it feel like the project has, like they often do, died with not even a whimper left behind. But fear not my faithful reader, the dream is alive and well.

As stated in my previous post we are in the saving phase of the plan. The goal of $100,000 is a bit  daunting I must admit, and if not for my mindless optimism it would feel almost impossible to achieve. This may still hold true. So far I have socked away a little over $4,000 which means I'm behind target for my savings goals so far. I had hopped to be closer to $10,000 at this point but I also knew that at this point it was pretty unrealistic. I have however made some reasonably prudent investments and earned myself a nice return on this money, currently hovering somewhere between $300-$400 or 8%-10%. While this doesn't mean I'm ready to dole out the cash for a large tract of land at the moment, it does mean that I'm firmly in the habit of stashing money away where and when I can.

I do have a few ideas on how to earn a little more extra side cash and more will be revealed when they are ready as most of it amounts to just throwing out ideas rather than cold calculated strategy.

I am making an effort to be fairly transparent about money for the project to encourage others, and hopefully not discourage, with real world numbers rather than after the fact estimations.(image)

New Song! Daniel Worth - Gun Slinger


After much work and the help of a great mixing engineer, Mr. Rich Wielgosz, I've completed, and released the first track to my Album, "Apathetic".

It's called "Gun Slinger" and was inspired by listening to popular rock tunes about the wild west and thinking, "most of these guys grew up on the coast and have never, ever, ridden a horse, I on the other hand have actually worked as a wrangler!" So, I sat down and hammered out a song over the top of a riff I'd been messing with. The track ended up with a few guitar parts with a touch of mandolin, some tasty slide guitar, and a little tambourine.

You can hear and purchase the tune at, player at bottom, with more options to come.

I'm using the money raised from my songs to help fund my "500 Year Farm".

Thanks to everyone for supporting me.

width="400" height="100" style="position: relative; display: block; width: 400px; height: 100px;" src="" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0">Gun Slinger by Daniel Worth(image)

500 Year Farm


In my post about my 500 year plan I talked a little at how I arrived at my dream but I didn't really spell out what that plan is. This post is to clarify what I want to do.Step 1: Buy land in Colorado.The ideal would be 80 acres but anything over 20 acres would fit my plan just not on the scale I was hoping for. I would prefer to have some water rights that would allow me to build ponds but that can be difficult in Colorado, though not impossible. I don't really care if the land has existing infrastructure other than it needs to have relatively close electrical hook up and be within a 30-45 minute drive of the Denver Metro area as that's a large part of my business plan. Something with some texture to the land would be best, e.g.:A bit of rock, a bit of hill, some valley, some elevation. Some existing forest or woodlot would be awesome. The most important part would be the ability to pay cash for the land so the cheaper the better $50,000 - $70,000 would be ideal and $100,000 as the top of my budget.Step 2: HousingEstablish low cost short term housing on the land. The most likely candidate right now would be a single wide trailer. The important parts being enough room for the family to live for 2-5 years comfortably,  low cost, and as little set up labor as possible. Again this housing would need to be paid for in cash. If I don't get banks involved, it takes the pressure off being profitable in the first year. I just need to break even and provide food for the family as I build up things on the farm to provide the stable income. This is important in eliminating the monthly rent we are currently paying to free that up to pay for farming projects as soon as possible.Step 3: Complete earthworksA large part of what I want to achieve will require shaping the land to maximize it's water usage and topsoil creation. Terracing, Hugelkulture, ponds and swales, as well as key-line plowing will turn the land into a carbon capturing, soil building machine that will outlast many generations. This is something that only has to be done once.Step 4: Short term food productionUsing the Hugelkulture beds and possibly a small greenhouse to begin growing enough annual and perennial food grown in poly-culture as possible for immediate use by my family with a hope of enough surplus to sell and begin building a client base.Step 5: Begin Building a Food ForrestThis will happen alongside step 4. Using small herds and flocks of chickens, goats, and pigs to start building the land. Chicken are my tillers, pigs my plows and goats my brush hogs. I will be  following their work with cover cropping and then planting what will become the over story of a food forest.Step 6: Food TruckThis is where I plan on providing the majority of income for the farm and why I want to be close to Denver Metro. I want to change the world by knocking down the barrier between people and their food. I believe availability of local in season food isn't the only thing standing in the way of the "Eat Local" food movement. People go to a farmers market, buy a bunch of veggies, get them home, don't know how to prepare them and they rot in the fridge while they eat fast food. I think people are so separated from their food now that unless it's on their plate it doesn't matter how good it is for the planet or their health, or how tasty it is. People have forgotten how to eat anything other than boneless skinless chicken breast in a prepackaged and pre-seasoned microwave pouches with a side of macaroni and cheese. I want to not only [...]

My 500 year plan.


Life is funny. There is almost no way to know what you will want out it when you start down the path of life, sometimes you get most of the way down a path just to find a fork that takes you in a totally new direction. Even if you know the fork is ahead there is almost no way to know what it is you choose until you are looking down both paths. OK, enough soliloquy.It's been more than two years now that I've been interested in something called Permaculture. When I fist heard about it I knew I felt right away like I had found a missing piece of my life.Since I was little I have dreamed of self sufficiency. I have always been interested in doing things myself, how things work and how to make things better. I've been obsessed with researching "perfect solutions" and making things from "scratch" most of my life. If I had to pinpoint the first thing that awakened this for me it would be when I read The Cay at around age 9 or 10. It's a book about survival where a privileged young white kid and a black man survive a ship wreck and the kid overcomes his prejudice. Next was the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen where a boy survives on his own after a plane crash leaves him stranded in the wilderness.After these was a book my brother turned me on to called  My Side of the Mountain where a boy runs away from his life to survive in the woods on his own. Added to this list has to be a book my mother got me that I was obsessed with called Diary of an Early American Boy that highlighted the many skills required to survive in America's earliest days. My Mother was involved heavily in the "Wheat Ridge Historical Society" and I fell in love with traditional life skills. On television I loved watching the PBS show "The Woodwright's Shop" that detailed traditional woodworking skills; my favorite episode being where he builds his own log cabin from scratch. PBS sparked another love for me of BBC comedies, one of my favorites being a show called "Good Neighbors" where a suburban English couple drop out of corporate life to turn their suburban home into a self sufficient homestead.  As I got older more and more things added to this obsession such as the PBS documentary "Alone in the Wilderness" a true story of a man who builds his own log cabin in the backwoods of Alaska and lives in it with a minimum of resources. When survival programming went mainstream I idolized "Survivorman" Les Stroud and to a much less extent Bear Grylls and his show "Man vs. Wild".Another thing that caught my imagination as a child was gardening, my dad built me a small garden plot next to my mom's rock garden in our back yard when I was about 7 or 8. My mom contributed to my project by buying me Kids Gardening: A Kid's Guide to Messing Around with Dirt, a book that came with seeds and a plastic trowel. I followed the directions and grew a very small crop of vegetables. When I was about 12 I started taking care of the lawn and gardens around the house. I went to the garden center every year and helped my mom pick out plants for the various gardens. I turned over the soil and planted annuals and tended perennials. I came home every day from school and hand watered the various plants around the house till the yard took on an amazonian quality.So, when I came upon Permaculture and the community around it felt like I had found the culmination of many life long passions. Permaculture, for the uninitiated, is a design philosophy, that is applied to designing ecological systems. Breaking down the jargon, it[...]

Running, the new hotness.


It's been a while since I've blogged, that is all I will say about that.This blog post is about running, something I had convinced myself I was never going to be able to do or ever enjoy. Then, after trying it in a new way, I discovered not only can I do it, I can enjoy it.My entire life I've had trouble running, I've never been much of an athlete, to be honest, let alone an endurance athlete. In school I struggled to finish most fitness tests but I NEVER finished a run in gym class, ever! I always got a cramp in my side, got winded and did that lonely walk of shame as more active kids lap me. I remember in junior high not even being able to complete the first lap of the run test, let alone the five that where supposed to follow. As I've gotten older and made numerous tries at getting into shape, usually the "look good naked" kind and not the "feel great" kind, I've tried running and always had problems. Usually, it was a problem of my knees hurting every time I ran. On top of that I would have the normal issues with not being able to pace myself, breathe and being super sore the next day.So, what changed?! Firstly, My brother brother started running, in part at the urging of his super athlete better half, using the "Couch 2 5k" running program. Since he completed that run program he's kept it up and when I was at my heaviest, seeing his transformation is what inspired me to start trying to get in shape and be more healthy, including quiting smoking. Unfortunately, I tried this run program on my treadmill at the house and it just served to confirm that I didn't like running and it didn't like me. I sold the treadmill on Craigslist and gave upSecondly, I had a friend who planted a seed in my brain by doing a podcast on barefoot running. I looked into it and thought it was interesting but never really seriously considered trying it.Later, the fad of the Vibram FiveFinger shoe took hold and soon many of my friends, who also had never run in their lives, where walking around in these goofy looking toe shoes. Like most things that become popular with people that have no business buying them, I laughed at all the people succumbing to the mindless consumerism of something they perceive as "cool". These shoes serve a real purpose, after all, and where not intended to be worn into public bathrooms, something I have personally witnessed.After getting into hiking and biking again I decided to try barefoot running as a way to diversify my workouts and spend some time with my wife who was also interested. I did a minimum of research, went outside without shoes on and ran the concrete path down to the road and back and....... it was bad, I got huge blisters on my big toes, the tops of my feet hurt and could hardly walk for a week. So back to the drawing board. This time I got a little more determined to give running a solid try, so I ordered a pair of huaraches from, basically a thin piece of car tire like material that you tie off to your ankle and are specifically designed for barefoot running. These protect your feet from surfaces and debris, like broken glass, but give you the full barefoot running feel. At the same time they allow me to keep my indie street cred by not giving in to wearing those mainstream toe shoes.Next I needed a plan to get running, I turned back to the "Couch 2 5k" but with all it's run intervals and walking intervals I need a way to keep track of when I should be running and when I sho[...]

True Love


Well, it's Valentines Day and while I'm not a huge fan of the obligation to waste money on cards and flowers it doesn't mean that I don't have someone to show my love for. Since my wife and I have long had a tradition of not purchasing gifts for each other I will not be spending large amounts of money on marginally useful gifts for my wife.I don't think that love should be expressed by a corporation trying to tell us what love is. I'm going to skip temporary and commercial clichés and put pen to paper, or pixel to screen if we are being honest, and express my love for my wife publicly and fully.

For those of you who don't know, my wife and I where high school sweethearts. My wife was pregnant with our first child at the age of 17 and I dropped out of hight school to support my family. It's impossible to impress on someone who hasn't gone through a teen pregnancy how much is stacked against you. In many ways my wife would have been better off, in terms of assistance programs, if I had just ran away. We fought the odds and each other those first few years and many time it was a make or break situation. We've lived on almost nothing and made the best of it. Above all we've laughed as much as we've cried and loved exponentially more than we've fought.

What we've created is our own world together where we are honest, even to a fault, and not have it leveraged against us. We can laugh, even at each other's expense, and cry together, even if we don't fully understand the reasons. I'm pushed every day to be a better person than I ever though possible. We are fast approaching having spent more of our lives together than apart and I wouldn't change that for anything. It is one thing to say that you wake up every day feeling more in love with your partner and another to experience it year after year. I may have been young when I married my wife but I found the best one out there and there is no way in hell I'm letting go.

I'm not a talented writer, I'm not a poet, I'm not hopelessly romantic. I'm just a grateful husband who has loved his wife more than anyone can fathom.

Kacie, I love you.(image)

Changing Things Around


I've meant to segregate my blog into different blogs for a while.

The main reasons are:
  1. I want a place where I can blog about politics and as this feed aggregates on non-political sites I don't think these posts are what most people read my blog are looking for.
  2. Most of my family isn't interested in Linux and probably doesn't check my updates because most of the time it doesn't make sense to them.
  3. I wanted to grow the Open Source Musician community by creating a blog where multiple writers could publish.
So, from now on this blog will be for my own personal posts about life, family ect. The Open Source Musician blog will be for Linux and Open Source related posts. Finally I have set up a political blog called Free As In Politics where I will post about politics relating to freedom in all its wonderful forms.

Thank you fair readers and update your RSS feeds appropriately.(image)